Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraiser. Every year, families, donors and friends take steps to help support the search for a cure. Each month through the end of the year, we’ll feature a special person or team who played an integral role in the 2014 Great Strides walks. We hope you’ll find this story to be inspiring as we continue to make Great Strides in our efforts to find a cure for CF!
Maureen Riordan – Team Megan
Walk: Chicago Walk, held May 18, 2014
Megan, 9, who has CF, is the inspiration behind Great Strides team Team Megan. Mom Maureen says Great Strides walk day is all about showing Megan how much she’s loved and how much the community supports her fight against CF.
Chapter: Greater Illinois Chapter
Team: Team Megan, led by Maureen and Frank Riordan and their children, Megan, 9, who has CF, and Kelsey, 6
Impact: Raised $60,000 so far in 2014
Why I Walk
We learned Megan had CF when I was five months pregnant. The diagnosis was devastating for our family. We reached out to the CF Foundation, CF doctors and other CF families, who all encouraged us to fundraise through Great Strides.
It’s so important to fundraise because that’s going to fuel the research that could one day lead the CF Foundation to a cure. The CF Foundation has given us so much hope all people with CF will be able to lead long, full lives.
What I Love
The day we walk is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s an emotional day, but I’m just so proud of my community, CF families and the friends and neighbors who support us. It’s also a day to show Megan just how much she’s loved and how much we support her.
How I Fundraise
Our family primarily fundraises through letter writing and email campaigns, but we also use social media. We send letters and emails to every single person we know, and in them, talk about Megan — what she’s doing, what her life is like, etc. Then we talk about CF and how serious the disease is. We close with donation options: give your time to come walk with us, give a monetary gift or help sponsor the walk.
Led by the Riordan family of Chicago, Great Strides team Team Megan raised $60,000 in 2014.
Advice for other CF Parents
You just have to ask. I am always surprised and humbled by the generosity of others. Sometimes you find generosity where you least expect it.
I want Megan to live a long, full life. I want her to pursue her dreams and find happiness.